Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

mozman created the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Due to a breach in the bridge over the flooding Messalo River, the main road (EN.243) between Pemba and Mocimboa da Praia (as well as to Mueda and Palma) has been cut 100km south of Mocimboa da Praia. This also prevents road traffic between Pemba and Tanzania, via the Rovuma Ferry and the Unity Bridge. Five years ago I drove from Mueda via Chapa, Nairoto, Montepuez to Pemba, which is a possible alternative route, but only in the dry season as there is no bridge over the Muirite (Mwiriti ) river 120km north of Montepuez. The other alternative that is visible on paper and google maps, namely the EN 247 that runs directly south from Mocimboa da Praia, has long fallen into disuse as there has never been a bridge over the Messalo on this route.

The ANE (Road Agency) inspected the breech on May 01, and has stated that the repairs will take a long time as the river is still very full. In the meantime boats are being used to ferry people across to public transport on either bank. Fuel has run out in the area north of the river, but Gas companies such as Anadarko and ENI are bringing in fuel by boat from Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia.

The photos attached are from Noticias and Pemba Post (Facebook)

Mike

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jgold replied the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the very useful information. I'm planning to explore Northern Mozambique and then travel from Pemba to Mocimboa, Palma, and over the Rovuma into Tanzania in late June. However, I assume this may not be possible if the road is cut. First of all - is there any update on the road? If it's not fixed, do you know of any timeframe? This will effect my planning if it turns out that the border crossing isn't possible. I will be traveling by public transport, chapa, canoe, etc.

Also - if the road is fixed, please let me know if my understanding of the process is correct. Early bus from Mocimboa, which, hopefully, can take you all the way to the border post at the river. Get stamped out of Moz, ferry across, and hopefully chapas waiting on the other side for transport on to Mtwara. Is this correct?

Finally, can you recommend a good place to stay in Mocimboa da Praia?

Thanks so much.

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mozman replied the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Hi and welcome to mozguide

firstly apologies for the slow response. The good news is that a temporary berm has been built around the broken bridges allowing smaller vehicles of 2.5 tonnes or less to use this route. Steel bridges have been brought in but these may still take a week or two before they are installed. Even if the route was still impassable you would have managed to get through as buses have been dropping passengers on the south bank and they have been taken by boat to the north bank from where there has been transport north. The Namoto border remained open and even if the vehicle ferry does not run, there are numerous smaller boats that take passengers across to Tanzania and vice versa.

From Mocimboa yes you get first transport heading north from about 0500, this was open Landcruisers that took you to the Namoto border post and then a further 3km to the Rovuma bank for the ferry or boat across. Now that the road north to Palma and Quionga has been upgraded, perhaps other vehicles will be managing to get through too.

In Mocimboa there is of course Chez Natalie but not within a backpackers budget, and with all the gas development in that part of the world, Pensao Leeta is rented out, and not sure about Pensao Magid, so I will ask a friend who has just been through for advice and let you know.

Mike

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jgold replied the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Hi Mike. Thanks very much for your response. That's good news. It sounds like it won't be too much trouble to travel up north. Please let me know if you hear of any other places to stay in Mocimboa.

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mozman replied the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Sean, the guy updating the Bradt Guide to Mozambique reminded me of Complexo Vumba which goes at about $60 per person and is often full of gas and oil people. So as its just for the night, I would check out Pensao Magid. Have a great trip, and if you run into problems contact me via this forum.

Mike

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jgold replied the topic: Pemba to Mocimboa da Praia and Palma road cut.

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Thanks for all of your help Mike. I'll look into Chez Natalie and Pensao Magid. And I'll definitely reach out to you over the forum if I have any other questions. Thanks for your help and for this website. It's great.

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